HUSTISFORD — In her second full day as library director, Nicole Mszal has her sights on making the Hustisford Community Library a shining gem.
“I want the residents of Hustisford and others from surrounding areas to feel welcomed when they walk through our doors,” she said Tuesday. “I want to help make this is a valuable community asset to all ages.”
Mszal, a self-proclaimed bookworm, enjoys immersing herself in the fantasy genre through such authors as Elizabeth Haydon and Sara Douglass when she’s not working in her garden.
If that’s not enough, she also plays the violin. Her skilled playing earned her a music scholarship to Illinois Wesleyan University, where she graduated with a degree in anthropology.
Soon after, she found herself traveling to Japan, where she taught English for four years.
“My Japanese wasn’t really good, but I learned about the culture and gained a new appreciation for the English language,” she said. “I loved the job I was in. Every day I was teaching in a different elementary or middle school.”
She lived in a small Japanese town similar in size to Hustisford.
“It was a wonderful experience,” she said.
Mszal, who is from Villa Park, Ill., earned a master’s degree in library science from Dominican University, a private Catholic University in River Forest, Ill. and a master’s degree in public administration from the Stuart School of Business, which is an academic unit of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Mszal traces her humble beginnings to becoming a library director as a page in high school. She received her start at her hometown’s Villa Park Public Library, where she worked as a high school student.
Since 2016, Mszal has been a librarian, but this is her first position as a library director.
But she’s ready for it.
“I just want to help people find joy in reading,” she said. “Every day working in a library is different, but the people make it a special and unique experience.”
Hustisford School District Administrator Heather Cramer, who assisted in the interviewing process for a new library director, said Mszal personifies positivity.
“As a library board member, I am excited for the energy and expertise that Nicole will bring to our community. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help to expand our library programs,” Cramer said. “She will bring a new energy to the team as we work to build an employee group that will share the same vision and mission of our library and that is to serve our citizens and community members.
“She shared new insight and a new energy that will be valuable for the entire community,” Cramer said. “Her love of the library was evident when talking with her. We are excited to welcome her to our community and are looking forward to all she has to offer.”
Mszal replaces former Hustisford Library Director Annie Bahringer, who took a position as library director with the North Shore Library in Glendale.